The job of the actor #1

This is helping  sustain me through the thick-and-thin of my practise as actor, director and teacher. I hope you are able to derive something from it also…

  ¨You asked me a question, ¨ Bill says, looking at Jon.  ¨You asked me, ´How can we get better at processing our emotions?´ You should all turn off your cell phones. Shut down your computers. Click off you iPods and your televisions and everything you listen to that isn´t human.
Modern society has surrounded us with these things and they´re killing us.  We´re beginning to forget what it is simply to breathe and eat and laugh and watch and wonder and listen and experience one another.  We´re forgetting how to be human beings with actual opinions and genuine feelings and originality.  And if we can´t be human, how can we ever hope to be artists?

¨This is the battle that art must fight in the twenty-first century, and you, as actors, are important soldiers in the battle.  We must defend our humanity in a society that values us less and less.

¨Now, go home and read a book of poetry.  Memorise some of your favourite lines and quote them to anyone who will listen.
Live.  Take in.  Give back.  Live some more.  This is the job of the actor.

I´ll see you next time.¨
~ William Esper, The Actor´s Art and Craft

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